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One good idea from the Dem debate tonight, from Bernie, was to de-militarize the police. I don't recall there being much in the way of specifics, beyond something about them not looking like an occupying force. But it got me thinking, thusly:
1) Make it illegal for the federal government to sell military gear to non-military entities, and make it illegal for civilian police forces purchase surplus military gear. (Whatever private individuals are allowed to buy would be unaltered.)
2) Remove SWAT teams from police forces and transfer them to each state's National Guard. Police would request SWAT assistance from them, with the idea that deployments would require more justification.
3) Remove military gear from non-military federal government agencies such as the DEA, ATF, and whichever others have them. I would include in this the overstocking of bullets; massive stockpiling of ammunition is quasi-military to me.
In short, no military-style operations on US soil. I don't care if it's under the guise of the WOT or the War on Drugs or any other war. All law enforcement business should be conducted as civilians dealing with (fellow) civilians.
An explicit, strict "Separation of Military and Police" doctrine. A separation between the two needs to become one of our national values. Maybe such a consciousness would change mindsets in police forces and cut down on brutality and lethality.
p.s. I think it was in a George Will column around Christmas where it was said that more monetary value was stolen by law enforcement in the country in 2015 than by criminals. So asset forfeiture laws are also obviously corrupting influences on police/policing forces and deserve to be looked at.
p.p.s. From the I-Told-You-So Dept.: "The Democratic [sic] Party in the United States worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care Act passed. We finally have a path to universal healthcare." -- Hillary Clinton tonight
p.p.p.s. Currently playing in my head these days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOrXKiSy8ZY
Unfortunately the mix in the journal community long ago ceased being what it had been, so I've done the long-overdue thing and switched my new JE notification from web to email.
I haven't been regularly visiting
Anyways, for some real intellectual stimulation, ponder the interesting notion ole Bernie (half-heartedly) offered in the last Dem debate: He was asked that wouldn't raising the minimum wage put some workers out of work. The interesting idea was, that the workers who got to keep their jobs would now have more disposable income, and buy goods and services that they are not now, that would then mean new jobs for those who lost them in the minimum wage hike.
I have absolutely no head/intuition for economics, and as such can't figure out for myself if there could be anything to that or if it's obvious (except to me) utter poop.
At lunch time MSNBC was questioning Trump's idea to deport illegal immigrants. The questions raised that I'm able to recall are:
1) How can it be done humanely?
2) How can they all be found?
3) What about the separation of families?
What popped into my head was: Q: How is it done for any other lawbreakers?
A: We apprehend them, and then we transport them.
You put them in handcuffs, to keep them from trying to elude authorities once captured. If they spit or bite, you put a mask on them. If they kick, you hogtie them. Going back for a sec, if they resist cuffing, you taze or pepperspray them. We already know how to do this humanely.
Put them in a vehicle, tell them to watch their heads as they get in, make sure their feet are in before closing the door (i.e. what seems to be perfectly routine policy, for law enforcement agencies from all over the country, from watching the show "Cops"), and then drive them to where they're told to take them.
Imagine a crew of people who'd pulled off some bank robberies. We'd do the obvious; pick them up at home, at work, at the grocery store, or whereever we had the element of surprise/had more likelihood of successfully taking them into custody without them being more prepared to escalate it into more violence.
On rounding every last one up, for lawbreakers in general, we can't find them all now. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Or that we should legalize bank robbery.
And we already separate lawbreakers from their families. If we avoided doing anything at all that had any side effects or downsides whatsoever, we wouldn't do anything.
It seems like on a practical level we'd probably want to try to get a couple of things done first:
I) Settle the "anchor baby" thing, Constitutionally. The kids should be considered just as illegal as their parents, and better to deport the family as an intact unit, than the kids going to wherever the government puts them when there's no parent left in the home.
II) Build the wall. Whether that be a physical wall, or a virtual wall implemented via technology, or sections of both. But it makes less sense to begin seriously bailing water out of the boat before you've plugged its holes.
As to where to transport them to, what are we doing with Syrian refugees? Apparently we've picked out 190 cities in this country where they'll be dropped off at. So pick 190 cities in Latin America.
And give the deportees their choice, as presumably many would want to be placed at or near where they came from or where extended family is located. We don't owe them that, but we're a generous people, we just don't want to be taken advantage of anymore. Give them a few bottles of water, some military rations, and some pesos in their pockets.
And possibly, for some, literature on how to apply for legal citizenship (and some idea of how long the wait might take). But legal immigration is a topic unto itself. Such as the purpose(s) of it. And how much truth there is behind "jobs Americans won't do".
From http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/07/quentin-tarantinos-anti-cop-comments-came-revolutionary-communist-rise-event/, on one reason why no one mentioned that one little factoid:
Part of this is the legacy of the Leftâ(TM)s single-largest victory in the culture war: decades of attacks on âoeMcCarthyismâ have smothered criticism of communism.
By portraying the critics of communism as conspiracy theorists and fringe kooks, the Left has created a chill effect on an entire generation.
We see the impact todayâ"nobody wants to call out actual, avowed, self-admitted, proud communists, lest they be accused of being a right-wing nut job using McCarthyite tactics.
It's an excellent point. Smitty's in denial. Bill O'Reilly outright lies about it (he's smart enough, and connnected enough, to know). The Left has made it impolite to call a communist a communist. It's been made to be like saying someone is like Hitler.
We've been suckered into obeying an imposed cultural norm of not speaking truthfully about certain truths. The GOP tells us that Islamic terrorism is our greatest threat. Fox News happily reports things and blissfully leaves out what it all means or the why, as if no one knows/it's some big mystery of the universe.
The Right wing goes along with perpetuating the Left's equivalent of the Devil's greatest con. Even the emperor's rivals are afraid to admit the obvious. We are truly the Left's bitches. It's amazing what asses Americans have let them make of us.
And what are we really talking about here. Are we calling those who want to demolish the American system abruptly "communists", and those who are doing it slowly "socialists"? As if only the former are who we should be worried about?
Even breitbart.com wimpily avoids the real issue. Communist orgs are relatively small and a dime a dozen. I remember seeing, quite some time ago now, on C-SPAN ole Democrat Sen. Tom "we passed this right [to health insurance] for the American people" Harkin speak at a Communist Party of America rally. So Tarantino spoke at a Revolutionary Communist Party event. Whatever.
The vast majority of the Left know America won't be brought down via revolutionary uprising by the proletariat, or blacks, or any other. What's been eating away at America the last several decades is the work of Leftists *within* the system. But there's too much social pressure to point out what's happening, and certainly too much to talk about why/what's behind it.
"Independent" Sen. Bernie Sanders is at least honest about himself, and no one bats an eye about it. He got a question in the debate something to the effect of is America ready for its first socialist president. Since we're already having ours, what they really meant is our first openly socialist president. And what would be meant by openly in this case is not just openly acting and sounding like a socialist but calling themself that.
Obama won't call Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists, and the Right wing won't call communists(/Leftists/liberals/Marxists/Progressives/whatever) communists. Both are full of shit.
Lefties love to thump on teh evil corps buying influence with Congress to, seen today in particular, not have to act responsible financially. Gotta love the gall:
1) First of all, Congresscritters are still subject to periodic elections, AFAIK, so citizens, not corporations, still have the ultimate say in how our reps behave. I've never understood the frequent human deficiency of ignoring the disease and getting fixated on one of the symptoms. It's just being really, really dumb. If one's kid was habitually misbehaving in twenty different circumstances, only an absolute moron would think to approach the problem by trying to change the circumstances. Individually.
Now look, of course I know that Lefties attack just certain symptoms typically not because they're actually delusional that it's the most effective way to go about solving the overall problem, but that eradicating certain things in particular is part of their religious views and therefore ranks higher than solving the overall problem. But human beings in general -- those without ulterior motives -- frequently lose track of the root problem and wander around believing the effects are it.
2) But even more to the point, what do Democrats do to be given and granted more power? They a) purchase favor with the public, b) by offering levels of goodies only financially feasible in magic fairy land.
So lemme get this straight: The very people who are complaining that those guys over there are a) purchasing favor so that they can b) act fiscally irresponsible, are they themselves in favor of other people doing both a) and b). So it's not a) nor b) that Lefties are actually against. It's just those guys over there (capitalists).
Lefties play into the human tendency to forget the forest for the trees, and act like it's these particular actions they're up in arms about. When really if they were ever honest, they'd say look, it doesn't matter that corporations buy influence, because we'd still be against them. What we're really against is private enterprise, because we think it's immoral because it leads to inequities.
p.s. BTW, I wish America would just make a decision on this stuff. I wish our next president, upon their January inauguration, would as their first task address the nation and declare 2017 a year of national discussion and debate on which direction we're going to go as a nation. Compare and contrast the moralities of capitalism vs. socialism, and then have some kind of national referendum. Send the Census Bureau around or something. But just fucking pick something; I'm tired of the trickle down, into national bankruptcy (although Obama has at least accelerated it, but surreptitiously). It's like Chinese water torture. Either open the faucet all the way (and empty the tank and let it be over and just kill us all), or turn the damn thing completely off. Drip, drip, drip... Another trillion in debt, another trillion, another trillion...
Very surprisingly, CNN actually put on a pretty darn good GOP debate. (I didn't seen the JV's, earlier in the day.)
Sure, CNN is still a Left-wing network of course, so there were a few questions about things Right-wingers don't recognize or care about, like Global Warming. Which would be fine in a D vs. R candidate debate, but completely doesn't belong in a GOP-only debate.
And of course they're still trashy/sensational like FNC, so it started out with several "so-and-so said this about you, take a moment to react" questions. Which might only be marginally useful to voters, as far as seeing how, both accusor and accusee, cope with aggression and pressure.
But what was fabulous about it is two-fold:
1) The thing was about 3, blessed, hours long. To a political junkie, that's not long, considering there were 11 (why not the "top 10"?!) candidates participating.
2) The moderator(s) did less talking, and there was responses and re-responses and re-re-responses from the candidates (vice just a bunch of interrupting with "we gotta move on"). In fact, the two co-questioners didn't get to ask hardly any questions, so their role was dubious. (Which is fine by me.)
Readily apparent was that everyone came with more energy this time, to the point of making Trump look somewhat demure. He's going to have to start coming out with details now (I think he said he'll have specifics of an economic plan to release in the next couple of weeks) to stay competitive. Everyone has ideas that are cringe-worthy (like Carly's "I won't talk with Putin, I'll just arm up" brinksmanship strategy for foreign policy), so it should be safe for Trump to start getting specific. (That is, I don't think something akin to mere "hope and change" -- his "I'll make America great again" -- will work, for a Republican.)
So what made this debate a gazillion times better than the FNC's is that I actually learned some things about the candidates' positions on things, and a little on how they differ. Unfortunately that's probably the best one there'll ever be.
p.s. It was good to see Rand Paul back to being his thoughtful and articulate self, unlike the prior debate where he didn't talk issues, just got into petty tit-for-tats with Trump and Christie.
p.p.s. I'm absolutely elated to have heard something to the effect that the three "outsiders" in the race are the top three in polling right now for the GOP.
So I'm sitting here watching the women's finals of the U.S. Open (tennis, not golf; i.e. the boring stuff, not the really boring stuff!
This would be unheard of on the men's side, because 1) there's a significant difference between a top 3 and a top 10 ranked player, let alone a top 30 player, and 2) they're a hell of a lot more consistent; excepting Serena Williams (who looks to be part man herself, BTW!), the women flop around from #1 to nobodies, like musical chairs.
Anyways, both of these players have never been to the finals of a grand slam (I guess one of the big* four tournaments of tennis in a year) before, and for such people nerves can be a factor, typically, and to some degree. This is broad generalizing [pun not intended
*I think I heard last night that the winner's payout was now up to $3.3 mil.
IBM is one of the sponsors of the tourney, and they're always trying to reinforce their marketing angle of being thought of for data analytics, and they had a feature during a pause where the sports announcers told us that nerves would affect one of the players 55% to 45% for the other player.
WTF?!? It boggles the mind to imagine just how impressive in number and cocksurety the assumptions must have been that went into such a concoction.
But we believe that computers are impartial, and don't(/can't) lie, so it must be true. What people don't know of course is that, assuming a bug-free implementation of a model, the output is only as trustworthy as both the model and the data.
I tell my non-technical extended family members that computers are not magical soothsayers, they can only, basically, do what they're told to do. And a computer model is just, broadly-speaking [there I go again], telling the computer what to do with the data.
It may be more data than a human being can readily sift through to determine what their assumptions would amount to, but that's all the computer does, takes human beings' assumptions about things, and crunches data sets, small or large, in terms of them.
So the tennis match is over now. They announced the winner does indeed get $3.3 mil. And she announced that she's retiring. People were shocked to hear this, apparently even her coach. But she's 33 years old, which is prime retirement age from the game. And she has a fiance, so she probably wants to start a family, as most women do.
She said she's known the fellow Italian she played against today since they first played at about age 9. So she's had a long career, and even though she also said after the match that she made the decision to retire after this tournament a month ago, she might have been thinking about retiring soon anyways. And the why not go out on this high. But did IBM's Watson, Tennis Version*, know all of this? She probably wasn't hardly nervous at all, given all of that.
*They've been advertising versions of "Watson" for health care data and other areas, in addition to the Jeopardy version that originally made the name famous.
p.s. I just sprouted an "eye migraine" (a painless, developing "shimmering" in my direct field of vision, in both eyes/in my brain) a few minutes ago, so apologies if some of my last few edits are mangled.
Ran into something today. Found the answer:
4. INSERT queries that use SELECT with ORDER BY to populate rows guarantees how identity values are computed but not the order in which the rows are inserted
Mentally masticate on that one for a minute. You carefully craft an ordered query for output to a web page view. But you need to return other resultsets based on it, so you INSERT that SELECT into a table variable, use it to produce your other resultsets, and then finally SELECT from the table var as the last resultset to return.
But then you find your ordered query is ordered, just not your order! Would've never seen that even coming. So I slapped an IDENTITY column on the table var and sorted on it for the final resultset. Whatevs.
"The idea of, you know, building a wall, kicking everybody out, and ending birthright citizenship all sounds appealing in some respects to some folks. But I just think it's a very complicated problem. And it needs someone who understands how to do a complicated and nuanced solution to that problem," Christie said [...]
Fuck nuance. And fuck those who are relativists and excuse-makers who try to use the concept to moderate on what is unequivocal. dam_reservoirs and fussycrackwitch are obviously commies. ISIS is obviously an Islamic terrorist organization. We obviously can build a fucking wall. Trump is popular right now because about a sixth of us in this country are tired of mealy-mouthed pussies.
"Appealing in *some* respects"?!? In what respects is it *not* appealing, to build a wall, kick out the illegals, and stop the madness? Presumably he means such things are unappealing to Leftie Republicans.
"Now what I said was if we wanted to have comprehensive immigration reform, I'd be willing to listen to anything. But the truth of the matter is that that's not something we should be being focused on. That's an applause line," he added.
When two paragraphs up he said:
And I think the difference here in my approach is they know that I'm a guy who knows how to enforce the law," he said.
Umm, what good is it to us that you know how to enforce the law, when you think it's not something worth focusing on?
And everybody knows by now that "comprehensive" reform is code for shifting the policy Leftward. In this case, an all-of-the-above approach of giving us both amnesty and not securing the border.
Why is Christie running? (Or Jeb for that matter? Or fucking Lindsey Graham?) Why is he even in the GOP? Mark Steyn said something to the effect that Republican establishment candidates are good choices because they give such great concession speeches. So Christie's big plan is to alienate the Conservative base and appeal to the big donations class of the party? I.e. raise a lot of money and get no general election votes? I guess how that strategy and inevitable outcome is a good thing is "nuanced".
p.s. Megan Kelly *is* a bimbo. I saw (part of) some segment when Dinesh D'Souza was on, talking about some of the very real shit that was happening to him. That guy has been watching and writing about Leftie trends in America going back to at least the 90's "Illiberal Education". As I recall he basically said what everyone knows, that amounted to saying that Obama is basically an American communist. And then Miss "hee hee look at me I have my own TV show!" immediately laughs and says that's crazy. Dinesh was floored. He's a (admittedly biased) researcher, she's a fake-blonde airhead "TV personality". I guess Roger bumped mutt-faced Greta out of prime time because she's not a breezy enough blonde. Next he should ditch the ditz and put Shannon Bream in that spot. She's guest-hosted the Brett Bair nee Brit Hume news hour and done so credibly.
p.p.s. I got side-tracked there. What I want is someone who'll forget about how "complicated" or "nuanced" a problem is and just start doing the obvious things to address it. And it's 2015 in America, Constitutionality is no longer a problem, when we have assholes like Roberts and Kennedy who'll lick their fingers and stick them in the wind to decide what would be best for whichever way the country is veering at the time.
I was tipped off, in another's journal, to the line of thinking involved here. Obama simply thinks that "there is a bit more nuance at work".
Just saw the video clip on it last night. A short and sweet article on it:
On MSNBC's Hardball Thursday night, host Chris Matthews stumped DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) when he asked her what the difference is between a Democrat and a socialist.
"What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?" Matthews asked, leaving Wasserman Schultz at a loss for words.
"I used to think there is a big difference. What do you think it is?" Matthews tried again. "A Democrat like Hillary and a socialist like Bernie Sanders."
Wasserman Schultz again was unable to answer and instead tried to tell Matthews what the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is.
"The more important question is what is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican," she said.
"What's the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?" Matthews again asked.
"You're chairman of the democratic [sic] party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist," Matthews reminded her.
"The relevant debate that we'll be having this campaign is what's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican," Schultz said.
Schultz, however, was able to tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.
"The difference between a Democrat and Republican is that Democrats fight to make sure everybody has an opportunity to succeed and the Republicans are strangled by their right-wing extremists," she said.
While we're still before the primaries for each (major) party, that question is relevant; amongst Democrat voters, that's something they'd probably be interested in knowning, just like amongst Republican voters about how Conservative each candidate is.
A question I'd like to see posed to Prince Rebus or whatever his name is: What is the difference between a modern Republican and an old-school Democrat? As DWS alludes to, is the GOP a moderate party with a small minority of Right-wing members that's causing it trouble?
I couldn't put my finger on it until now. I watched the varsity one live that evening, and then later that night the JV one that I had recorded while at work.
My thoughts 2/3rds into the varsity one were:
* Am I watching MSNBC?
* I'm not getting useful information.
I thought FNC was supposed to be a pro-Republican network. They seemed like all gotcha questions, having not thought much about it by then. Apparently the FNC "personalities" at least were all gushing in the days prior and following, thumping themselves on the back about what a fabulous job they did, and how carefully they came up with these perfected questions, and if we only knew how much went into it. And apparently the rest of the news media were ecstatic at the job FNC did. Now I know why.
And why I learned very little:
1) Part of it is that there were so many candidates, even with over 3 hours of time. That meant very limited time for each anyways. But the aggravating things are:
a) The candidates were limited to 30-second "answers", which is not enough time to explain anything, with any substance.
b) The moderators were not limited, and by far did more talking than any of the candidates.
Someone from another network kept track of candidate speaking time:
FINAL Talk Times:
1 Trump 10:30
2 Bush 8:33
3 Huck 6:32
4 Carsn/Crz 6:28
6 Kasch 6:25
7 Rubio 6:22
8 Chrste 6:03
9 Walkr 5:43
10 Paul 4:51
This totals just under 68 minutes of time. The show was 130 minutes long. With limited commercial breaks (thankfully). I found a report that the avg ad time per hour on cable for 2013 was 15 minutes and 38 seconds (up from 14 minutes and 27 seconds per hour in 2009). Let's say in the last two years it grew at double that rate, to 18:12 per hour, which would be almost 40 minutes in a 130 minute timespan.
So, approximately, the moderators yapped for 130 - 68 - 40 = 22 minutes of the time. While it definitely felt like much longer, from watching it, that's still more than twice the time for the candidate who got the most time amongst the candidates, and either way it still means that there was only 52% candidate content in the program.
But it's not even that, because:
i) At the time limits per answer they were only soundbite-quality, and
ii) They didn't originate with what the candidates thought was important to convey (i.e. some of their time was wasted in their having to segue).
So this afternoon I saw a re-capped clip of one question from the debate, and hit me why exactly I learned very little, aside from the math on the time. They're weren't "tough questions" (like posing to each, how do we keep Iran from getting the bomb), or really even "gotcha questions" (designed to catch you unaware of the trick in the question, to get you to screw up), what they were were "negative spin". I.e. as misrepresenting of things as possible, customized for each candidate's circumstances.
That's why I learned basically nothing from the 3+ hours. Of course the candidates are going to try to misrepresent their weaknesses, spun positively. The way around that is for the moderators to stick on a candidate after their answer and grill them, not let it stand and move on to someone else, like Fox did.
So I got misrepresentation in the answers, and also (maybe even more) in the questions. And that's why the Left thought FNC did such a knock-up job this time. Because it's what they would've done.
But if FNC was really a network for Republicans, they would've picked topics important to Republicans, and sought to bring out the differences between the candidates on them, to inform. Instead we got crap about things like Trump's bankrupties. That'll all come out in the campaign, with all other news orgs being solid Left. My problem is that FNC now talks about income inequality and racist police etc. So their (news division) being moderate Left, is that what is defined as catering to Republicans nowadays? I fear maybe it is.
Back in the real world, ST is one of the most political TV shows of all time. It embodies multi-culturalism, feminism, passivism, anti-capitalism, and environmentalism, as those just off the top of my head. TFMSNBCA uses the term "progressive", which I would only nitpick at in the capitalization of the first letter.
I enjoyed the original series, less so the later ones, and most of the movies, but let's face it, ST is a communist institution in America. Beside there being a whole movie devoted to the old Leftie "save the whales" thing, we had the Ferengi for goodness sakes, an alien race developed to portray how ugly private enterprise makes us!
But aside from Mr. Shatner's farcical statement, I had been rooting for The Donald for prez, but I'm warming to Ted Cruz after this. He's right about how how in TNG they split Kirk up (and I would say later brought them back together into one in Voyager; which reminds me, include Native American/primitive (i.e. non-successful, non-Christian, non-Western Culture) cultures worship in the list) into the ass-kicker (Riker) and the pussy (Shjon-Luke).
See, they even gave them kick-ass and pussy-sounding names, respectively. And of course the Republican had to be subordinate to the Democrat, as it should be in any good, forward-thinking society amiright.
p.s. As an added extra bonus to this JE, there's also the most metal item of the week.
10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.